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Posts Tagged ‘disruption’

Occupy Business Innovation in Canada

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s time to Occupy business innovation and research commercialization in Canada.

In response to reports that Canada has slipped badly in global rankings of innovation and research commercialization, the federal government asked industry for ideas on how Canada might fix the problem. The result is the Jenkins Report, which is stirring up some debate in business circles (see Globe & Mail column and comments).

The report offers a number of solutions to the problem of lagging innovation but the main thrust seems to be better targeting and distribution of the billions of dollars we already dole out to businesses every year. Strangely, since I’m more left than right, this has me feeling a little Kevin O’Leary about it all. It smells like tweaking a perpetual government bail out of business.

My point is the report and the debate completely disregard the concerns of the Occupy movement, which is pointing to the same broken business finance system. This disconnect is strange because so many of the business people arguing about improving Canada’s innovation financing are also sympathetic to Occupy, especially the younger startup crowd. But they seem unable to recognize their own power and this unique opportunity to influence both issues at once.

The Occupy movement says big money and corporate power can’t be trusted to run the world anymore. Capitalism, if it ever was a noble beast, has devolved to a rigged game of elite cronyism, manipulation and greed. We’re seeing examples of that in the way so many companies and consultants are gaming government innovation funding now.

Occupy supporters say the metrics used by the financial elite to pick winners and losers ignore everything but money. Aren’t those the same metrics used in the innovation funding game?

And Occupy says if corporations are indeed people, as recognized by the courts, then too many of them are psychopaths. Well, how many fat cats just take government money to pad their bottom line and run without a second thought?

While many old-school business people may sympathize with these Occupy issues, they are fearful that speaking out could cast them as socialists or threaten their jobs. Or jeopardize funding for their startups.

Others, though, are not so fearful of speaking truth to power. Their businesses are being built on ecosystems of social networking. They are broadly supported and connected – constantly sharing not only the cold information of transactions but also their feelings about how the world could become a better place. Being in touch with so many kindred spirits, they are not so easily divided and conquered.

So, here’s the thing: Plans for the future of innovation funding in Canada are being made now. These plans call for more or less of the same old same old. No one discussing these plans is connecting the dots to issues raised by Occupy. If you are a socially-networked business person and you sympathize even a little with the Occupy movement, then you have the power and the opportunity right now to influence Canada’s approach to business innovation.

Social BPM and Social Learning

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment
A number of companies, ranging from IBM to IbisSoft are working to integrate Business Process Modelling with Social Media. More specifically they are making their BPM tools collaborative, allowing multiple remote users to work on one model at the same time. Max Pucher wrote about these tools in his insightful blog post, Social BPM Methodology: The Triple Oxymoron. My post is a response to his expressed concern over the viability of social media in the context of formalized methodology.

Talking about social BPM is tough because shared meaning about such new topics has not settled yet. Social media, for instance, is still struggling to define itself. While many of us hope for something meaningful, others seem intent on subverting its value by whoring after large numbers of friends and followers at the expense of creating and capturing genuine value in real connections. Real value in social media comes from shared passion in facing a shared challenge.

Changing the Weather

If the M2M B2B industry continues to muddle along with business as usual then someone might someday get lucky enough to have an impact that is “in some ways disruptive.” But who can do anything disruptive if everyone is playing the same game with the same tools? Disruption is about changing the game – not just working harder, faster and smarter.

This is a response to Bob Emmerson and his recent post at m2mModules: A Constant in a Fast-Changing M2M Environment. The post is a helpful weather report for today’s M2M development environment. Fortunately though, unlike the weather, enterprise mobility is still very young and we do have some hope that we can change the weather. We have a plan for operational innovation in enterprise mobility and Bob’s seven points provides an opportunity to position some of our key ideas.

One: Adopting standards is obviously important but that helps everyone. So no disruption. But suppose a group of vendors came together in pre-competitive collaboration to share processes as well as standards. That would certainly give that vendor network – a Smart Business Network — a disruptive edge.

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